Camelot is looking to pump more than 100m into extra scratchcard prizes in an attempt to boost sales of its beleaguered Instants brand.
The National Lottery operator is considering increasing the prize payout for new Instants scratchcards from 55 per cent of each ticket sold, and sources say the payout could go as high as 70 per cent for new games. Last year, Camelot paid about 480m in scratchcard prizes, on sales of 876.5m.
Sales of Instants have dwindled since their launch in 1995, from 44m a week to about 14m. Camelot has relaunched Instants this year with new advertising, but has failed to boost sales.
The television show Big Ticket, screened on BBC1, which is tied to sales of the TV Dreams ticket, has also failed to lift sales (MW April 16).
Because of low sales of scratchcards, fewer prizes than expected have been paid out. Camelot aims to distribute 50 per cent of ticket sales for Instants and the two weekly draws as prizes, but has failed to meet this target.
The shortfall – which stood at 135m last year – is paid directly to Good Causes. By increasing scratchcard prize payouts, the shortfall would be erased. Punters would buy more scratchcards, so funds to Good Causes would be boosted.
A spokeswoman for Camelot admits that the company is considering the move, but says: “We have no firm plans at the moment. Just because we are looking at it does not mean it is going to happen.”